A long post on the Scientific American website today pleads with the public to not let this obsession with lion meat get out of control, in the wake of a Burlingame restaurant offering $70 lion meat skewers and a restaurant in Florida selling lion meat tacos. Though lions aren't currently protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, they're the only big cats that aren't, and earlier this month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began a review to see if they should be.
More than that, lion meat sales "also illustrate the shady side of the exotic meat market," author John R. Platt writes. He quotes Jeffrey Flocken, North American regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, who says that though the lion meat distributors claim their meat has been inspected, the USDA and FDA don't back up the claims:
"We have called the USDA and we have spoken with investigators at the USDA and the FDA. Every time they have said that they do not inspect lion meat, that it's not part of their remit, and that they have no history of inspecting lion meat."
I speculated earlier on what lion's meat flavor would be like, but am losing my taste for it. At the very least, these big beasts don't seem like a sustainable protein source. Not like crickets.